Rise in road fatalities

The latest road safety benchmarking report from Australia’s peak motoring group shows there was a 2.9 per cent increase in road fatalities in the 12 months to March 2018, with 1,270 Australians losing their lives on Australian roads.

The Australian Automobile Association’s (AAA) Benchmarking the National Road Safety Strategy report also shows all Australian states remain above the Strategy’s notional targets to reduce road fatalities by 30 per cent through the decade to 2020.

For the first time, the AAA Benchmarking Report has included data from the Australian Trauma Registry, which shows that in 2016, there had been a 19 per cent increase in severe injuries compared to the same period in 2013. This is significantly higher than the rate required to achieve the 2020 target for serious injuries.

AAA CEO Michael Bradley said: “No state is performing well, however this report also reveals we now have two states in NSW and Tasmania, where road fatality rates are higher than when the Strategy was implemented in 2011.

“Further analysis of road user groups indicates a similar disturbing trend as the pedestrian and cyclist fatalities in the 12 months to March 2018 are higher than before the commencement of the strategy, and cyclist fatalities have increased by a staggering 104.8 per cent compared with the previous 12 months.”

The Australian Trauma Registry (ATR) is a collaborative project that collects data from 26 trauma centres around Australia and while results are currently only available for certain years, it is hoped that further work will also provide data on injuries of other lower severity and closer to real-time.

The report is available here.